The first camp of my life

  • Alina Dangol

This was officially the first camp I’ve ever been a part of !!!

Before the camp started, I didn’t have a clear insight into what it looked like and how it was conducted. Now, I’ve gotten a clear view of what camps are, why, and how they are conducted. I’ve had a chance to learn about many things from my colleagues, the people out there, and even the participants themselves. I’m optimistic that I was able to share my knowledge with other people as well. Our team was assigned to conduct 5-days ECCA camp at three different schools of Ward 12, Rapti Municipality, Chitwan district in May – June 2022.   

The first thing that stunned me was the contrasting lifestyles people pursue there. I knew life is pretty easy here in Kathmandu but very little did I know; life was that difficult out there in the hills and other regions of the country.

Children didn’t even have a basic concept of hygiene and sanitation. Lives out there were shy, and isolated that they didn’t care much about hygiene and sanitation. They didn’t know how to wash their hands properly, the importance of brushing teeth, and other hygiene-related things. The camp’s motto was to educate the school students  about the needs and importance of hygiene and methods to maintain it.

The five days camp brought me closer to the villagers, children, and even my colleagues themselves. It taught me how we Homo Sapiens, with similar brains, conceive things differently. It helped me understand the different human psychology of different age groups to some extent. It sharpened my skills of adaptability. It equipped me with the skill of analyzing the behavior of the second person and acting accordingly. More than anything, the five days camp brought our team even closer and created an environment where we could grow as a team, as a family. It taught us how to include our differing opinions in the decision-making and implement them in such a way that everyone is triumphant. It enlightened us with the essentiality of coordination and cooperation. It sighted us with a method to efficiently coordinate and cooperate with any person.

Another key feature it enlightened us with was the essentiality of proper planning and the efficient ways to execute them. We planned for 5 days and successfully executed them. The five-days camp consisted of WASH sessions, life skills sessions, nature club establishment, school gardening, and many more.

Through the camp, we successfully educated them on the essentiality of personal hygiene and sanitation. We provided them hygiene kit consisting a toothbrush, soap, toothpaste, comb, handkerchief, and nail cutter and taught them the appropriate ways to use them. Besides, we also taught them school gardening, paper recycling, clay work art, and craft work. We also established a Nature club to carry out different activities, which will help in the overall development of students.

We could see the differences our camp was making in their day-to-day lives. I feel extremely proud to have been a part of this camp. I feel honored to be one of the key members of my group. I’m enthralled to be a small part of the big step to change a particular society. I’m optimistic that we’ve been able to change their perceptions to some extent. I’m assured that our little effort will make a big difference in developing the society, one day. I will be forever indebted to ECCA Nepal, action medeor, and BMZ Germany for providing me an opportunity to sharpen my skills and for making me a part of this camp.

Teaching students how to brush teeth
After hygiene kit distribution
Helping each other for hand washing

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